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South West Water’s reservoirs reach capacity

South West Water’s reservoirs are spilling over, following 50 days of wet weather in November and December.

Fourteen of the firm’s 18 reservoirs are now approaching capacity. The three biggest reservoirs, Colliford and Wimbleball are 100% full while Roadford is 96% full. These three comprise 74% of total reservoir storage in the region.

Thirteen of the 15 smaller reservoirs are also full. Overflowing reservoirs pose no risk to downstream users, said South West Water, as they are all designed with spillways which convey surplus water away in a safe manner.

A number of reservoirs experienced very large increases in amounts of water stored since the beginning of November, including:

  • Kennick, Trenchford and Tottiford (58% increase)
  • Wistlandpound (42% increase)
  • Venford (41% increase)
  • Burrator (29% increase)
  • Wimbleball (19% increase)

South West Water water strategy manager Neil Whiter said the full reservoirs promise good supply and increased energy generation.

“It’s looking really good for water supply. It is much better for us to be able to use water from our reservoirs rather than taking it from rivers which generally requires more treatment and pumping,” he said.

“We are able to generate electricity from water released from our reservoirs and, at the moment, we are generating enough electricity to power over 6,000 households.

“I’m also confident that next year will be our 14th consecutive year without a hosepipe ban.”

South West Water’s total reservoir storage is 98.4% or 112,745 Megalitres of water.

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